Last week I had dinner with a family in our parish here at St. Joseph and before the food that we ordered was delivered, one of the parents’ two daughters, a fourth grade student at our school, handed me a picture that she had been drawing. It is here:
The picture is simple and touching especially for a still new-ish priest to have received. I looked at the wine in the cup and thought of the consecration at Mass that I have the privilege of celebrating. What an awesome responsibility to be able to stand in persona Christi and share Jesus’ precious blood with His people! I then turned my eyes to the two “hosts.” I thought for a second as I looked at them, and saw the peace signs drawn on each of the hosts. I thought of the hosts we use at Mass that have small crosses on them and considered that maybe the drawing was meant to have crosses instead of peace signs. But as I reflected on this picture that is now hanging in my office, I realized that the peace signs were perfect.
The peace signs were perfect because of the symbolism behind them and because of the meaning of the Eucharist. Jesus Christ was born into a broken world to bring salvation to those who have sinned. To bring healing to people so desperately in need of it. To bring peace to torn and difficult relationships. To be a model for us for how we are to live our lives. To be our Savior, our Redeemer, our King, our Peace…
This Holy season of Lent has been gifted to us by the Church to invite us to prayerfully and intentionally consider our relationship to the Lord Jesus. Sometimes, all it takes is a simple picture drawn by a child to invite us to reflect on all the Lord Jesus has done for us through the gift of His Body and His Blood. Through our reception of the Eucharist, we are invited to receive Christ’s peace and let Him envelop our lives.
Fr. Dan Ponisciak, C.S.C., took his Final Vows with the Congregation of Holy Cross in the fall of 2014, and was ordained a priest in the spring of 2015. He earned an M.Ed. from the College of William & Mary prior to completing his M.Div. from the University of Notre Dame. He currently serves as Parochial Vicar at St. Joseph Parish in South Bend, Indiana. Fr. Dan is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.